MediaTek is very adept at creating custom ARM CPU implementations that generally defy expectations. The Helio X30, which was first unveiled last fall, is now entering general availability and should start showing up in devices around the second quarter of 2017. Their newest SoC will have 10 CPU cores and be manufactured on TSMC’s 10nm FinFET process.
Helio X30 is the first on TSMC’s 10nm
The new CPU will feature two Cortex-A73 cores running at 2.5GHz, four Cortex-A53 cores running at 2.2GHz and four additional Cortex-A35 cores running at 1.9GHz for increased efficiency. It seems that the big, little philosophy has really taken off with mobile devices. In this case it has a Max/mid/min cluster to help spread out the workload to the cores that are fastest and when needed. Theoretically this strategy helps to save power and improve overall responsiveness and performance.
The Helio X30 will be capable of handling LPDDR4 at 1866MHz, which gives it 29.9GB/s of memory bandwidth, a sizable increase over the X20. That alone should help with power consumption and increase performance as well. This time around they’ve gone with a PowerVR 7XTP-MT4 instead of the ARM Mali implementation for their GPU. This particular model is likely a custom design, so we’ll hear more about it’s actual capabilities and the number of clusters it has closer to release. We do know that it’s capable of encoding and decoding 2160p30 video with HEVC with HDR and utilizing VP9. Connectivity will be an LTE Category 10 radio.
CorePilot 4.0 is being released alongside the new CPU. This is a CPU frequency and task scheduling manager that’s specifically optimized for the triple cluster CPU design that they’ve implemented. CorePilot keeps track of the SoC’s power budget by monitoring temperature and there is a global task scheduler component that’s responsible for identifying and moving tasks between the three different clusters based on workload and user experience parameters. It also adjusts CPU frequency using Fast DVFS technology that increases sampling rate which let it adjust the voltage and frequency much more quickly.